I spent a large portion of the 2013 season fielding complaints about Adam Jones blowing bubbles in center field and chasing sliders in the dirt. I couldn’t care less about the bubbles - they don’t impact whether he catches a ball and they never will - but it would be nice if he could lay off that pitch, especially with two strikes.
For what it’s worth, he’s not the only Oriole to have this issue. Sidney Ponson chased a lot of sliders in the dirt, though only when the bag tore from White Castle.
But seriously ...
Jones will continue to have his critics - it comes with the territory - but he’s always going to bring an aggressive approach to the plate. He’s always going to be in attack mode. Tame him and you may lose run production.
Consider the following, provided the Orioles PR staff, and then decide how much you want to change him:
Jones and J.J. Hardy were two of four players in the majors to win Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger Awards in 2013, joining Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt and St. Louis’ Yadier Molina.
Jones (33) and Chris Davis (53) were the only teammates in the majors to each have 30-plus homers. Seven teams did it in 2012, including the Orioles with Jones and Davis.
It was the seventh time in Orioles history, and the second time for Jones and Davis, that two players hit 30-plus homers in the same season, joining Hardy/Mark Reynolds (2011), Brady Anderson/Rafael Palmeiro (1996), Eddie Murray/Larry Sheets (1987) and Boog Powell/Frank Robinson (1966 and 1969).
The Orioles were the third team ever to have four players with at least 105 hits at the All-Star break, joining the 1954 Cardinals (Red Schoendienst 119, Wally Moon 114, Ray Jablonski 109 and Stan Musial 107) and the 1969 Reds (Bobby Tolan 125, Tony Perez 122, Lee May 112 and Pete Rose 111). Manny Machado had 128 hits, Jones had 117, Nick Markakis had 108 and Davis had 10.
Davis and Jones recorded the 16th and 17th seasons in club history with at least 30 doubles and 30 homers. It’s the second time Jones accomplished the feat. He had 39 doubles and 32 homers in 2012.
In addition to Jones, only Murray (four) and Palmeiro (three) have done it more than once for the Orioles.
Jones, Hardy and Matt Wieters each hit 20 or more homers for the third straight season, making the Orioles the only team since 1921 to have a catcher, shortstop and center fielder (based on primary position) each hit 20-plus homers in three straight seasons.
Jones hit 30 homers, scored 100 runs and drove in 100 runs in the same season for the first time in his career, becoming the eighth Oriole to accomplish the feat. Jones (33/100/108) and Davis (53/103/138) are just the second pair of Orioles teammates to do it in the same season, joining Anderson (50/117/110) and Palmeiro (39/110/142) in 1996.
The other Orioles to go 30/100/100 are Eddie Murray (1980, 1983, 1985), Frank Robinson (1966 and 1969), Albert Belle (1999) and Miguel Tejada (2004).
Jones’ 33 home runs and 108 RBI were career-highs, and his 186 hits tied his career-high set in 2012.
Jones became the sixth Oriole with 180-plus hits in back-to-back seasons, which ties for the fourth-longest streak of 180-plus hit seasons in club history behind Markakis (five from 2007-11), Cal Ripken, Jr. (three from 1983-85) and Tejada (three from 2004-06).
Jones is the fourth outfielder in Orioles history with 30 doubles, 30 homers and 100 RBI in a season, joining Robinson (34/49/122 in 1966), Anderson (37/50/110 in 1996) and Belle (36/37/117 in 1999).
Jones hit .348 in 55 day games, the second-best average in club history among players with 175 at-bats, trailing only Melvin Mora’s .373 mark in 2004. Jones’ 16 homers in 55 day games are tied for the fifth-most in Orioles’ history.
The Orioles had seven players (Jones, Davis, Hardy, Machado, Markakis, Wieters and Nate McLouth) appear in 146 or more games this year, the most in the majors. The Reds had six.
The seven players are the most by the Orioles since the 1975 team also had seven (Don Baylor, Mark Belanger, Paul Blair, Bobby Grich, Lee May, Brooks Robinson and Ken Singleton.)
So, in conclusion, I can live with the bubbles and the sliders. They rank way down the list of issues facing the Orioles.